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Palestinians mull next move after UN statehood rebuff

Palestinians mull next move after UN statehood rebuff

Ramallah: The Palestinian leadership was to meet Wednesday over the next steps in its campaign for statehood after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution on ending Israeli occupation.

President Mahmud Abbas was to gather with top officials in his West Bank base of Ramallah at 1630 GMT and brief them on his plans in a speech to be broadcast live by Palestinian television.

The Palestinians had warned that if the resolution failed, they would seek to join international organisations including the International Criminal Court, where they could sue Israeli officials for war crimes in the occupied territories.

The text's failure had been likely ever since the Palestinians unveiled a first draft in September which drew strong US opposition for setting a 12-month deadline for reaching a peace deal and 2017 as the date by which Israeli troops would have withdrawn from the territories.

In the event, the resolution failed to secure the necessary nine votes in the 15-member council to pass and Washington was spared the diplomatic embarrassment with Arab allies of wielding its veto.

The Palestinians have had the option of applying for membership of the ICC and a raft of UN agencies since late 2012 when it won recognition as a UN observer state.

But they had agreed to hold off during nine months of abortive US-brokered peace negotiations with Israel that collapsed in mutual recrimination in April.

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